Marketing is very important for various types of businesses. Especially so for freelancers. Unfortunately, many of them fail to address this issue. They neglect marketing their services and end up with no clients and no work for months. All of this could change with a few marketing tricks.
But in order for it to work properly, you have to start at the beginning. For example, it’s important to have a branded website and branding elements that will make you recognizable. Include them in all your materials – from business proposals to social media posts. You also need a niche so you can brand your business.
All of these things will make your marketing strategy better and more advanced.
The first step to having a successful marketing strategy is to find a niche that suits you. You can start by looking at your professional and personal past and finding things that you loved to do or that you were knowledgeable about. Maybe you have worked somewhere previously and have a lot of experience in that industry so that could be your niche, or a part of it can be your niche. Make sure to pick something that’s wide enough to be profitable, but narrow enough to be targeted to a specific, hopefully high-paying group.
You can also look at your current interest and incorporate them in your work somehow. For instance, if you are a writer but your interests at the moment are pointed at natural health, you can write about alternative medicine and beauty. If you are a web developer that has recently become a parent or that likes playing with their children, you can go for designing children’s websites, web apps or app.
The next step is to brand your online presence.
“Design a logo, choose website colors, come up with a tone of voice that you want to use and so on. This will be your public image and it will represent you to the world and to all of your clients. Make sure it suits your personality. It can also be very interesting to your audience both other freelancers looking for tips and your clients,” says Derek Gray, a brand manager at Nextcoursework and Australia2Write.
According to Develux, the outsourcing software development company, one of the markers of a good freelancer is their ability to meet deadlines. Want good reviews? Meet your deadlines – this is the basis of the client-freelancer effective communication and relationship, and the biggest part of your reputation. Clients want someone reliable. Of course, if you have a need for it, you can delay the deadline and let your client know in a timely manner. This is true especially when the deadlines are reasonable – not a 24 hour deadline or a few hours deadline. If your client gives you a week or two, you should do your best to respect that.
The website is your online presentation and it’s necessary if you want to show your best self in front of clients. You can use it to store your samples, your blog posts and your general information. Optimize it and your clients will be able to find you through the search engine easily.
Positive reviews you get from clients are your most important asset. Nothing can convince the client to hire you than strong social proof. For instance, you should display them all on your website and share them on your social media so that people can see just how great you are.
“Don’t forget about marketing when you have a lot of work. This is a common mistake and the one that could cost you your freelance business. You need to be able to advertise even when you are at your busiest,” says Caroline Hewitt, a freelance writer at WriteMyX and Britstudent. Also, use all the available tools to automate your business – this will make you less busy and you’ll have more time for your self-promotion.
Be friendly and connect with people both online and offline. Go to meetups, be a member of groups on social media and so on. It can be a great opportunity for new work and fresh challenges. As you look for new connections, continue to enrich the ones you currently have as well. Engage your customers, get to know them, and address their concerns.
Build your freelance business in a smart and effective way. Make sure that you are involved with your marketing and that you respect your deadlines. Check out the book ‘The Price of Freelancing’ to get more inputs on how to become a successful freelancer.
Katrina Hatchett, a freelance blogger at Academic Brits and writer for Origin Writings, is involved in many business projects. She enjoys identifying project problems and find solutions for these, and her goal is to improve the effectiveness of our communication. She also writes for PhDKingdom.com academic blog.